Monthly Archives: November 2014

EnhancEDU is On!

EnhancEDU launch

Snapshots from the EnhancEDU launch

We finally kicked off our EnhancEDU startup program last Wednesday at Slush. We got a room full of people interested in our program and visiting the stands. I am so proud of this, especially since were competing against the Slush 100 pitching finalists who were on stage at the same time. Slush edtech track also partially overlapped with our event, so there’s reason to be very satisfied.

We first described the goals and structure of our program, followed by a good two hours of mingling and demos. In addition to Sanoma people, we had fine companies presenting a wide variety of products. Big thanks to all of them for their valuable input!

That is indeed what EnhancEDU is about. Our main interest is in K-12, but within that scope we are looking for all kinds of edtech startups to boost learning innovations. You can find some relevant trends we are hoping to address from John Martin‘s keynote, presented at Slush edtech track just before the EnhancEDU launch:

So, all systems are go! The program has been launched and we are now processing the contacts we’ve received from you. We want more, mind, so go to our website and submit yours. We’ll also organize events where you can present your products to get feedback and coaching by our experts. The first event will take place in Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, on February 12th, 2015.


#EnhancEDU Launch Event Coming Up

It is always better to go to a conference with a presentation, poster, booth, or some other personal mission rather than as a mere spectator. If you present, you are more likely to be approached by others which might result in something useful. As a regular visitor nobody knows what you do or represent until you speak up.

I haven’t been to Slush for many years. Actually, last time was in 2009 when I chaired a panel discussion about how to reward & motivate users on the web. Slush has since grown to be a huge event. This year it sells some 10 000 tickets. I’ll be there again this time, now hosting a specific session for edtech startups.

Our event is a launch for a program we call EnhancEDU. As the name suggests, it aims at enhancing current edtech market with new innovations. We invite companies to approach us and present their products & services. In return, we can provide them with a wide reach in Finnish K-12 market, as well as mentoring and coaching.

At the launch event we will describe the program in more detail. In addition, there will be a couple of interesting startups presenting their products.

So, if you recognize yourself as target audience or otherwise interested in this, contact us via the program’s web site. Furthermore, if you are coming to Slush, be sure not to miss our event. See you there!

Halfway There: The State of Finnish #SLL2014 Ideas

Roughly a month ago we started the Sanoma Learning Lab 2014. Here’s a recap and some feelings from our Helsinki kickoff:

As I write this blog post, we are about halfway through the Lab. There has been great development. The teams have been formed and are now working on the following ideas*:

  • Idea 1 assists students to find job opportunities. It does matchmaking by connecting the opportunities in workplaces with skills and interests the students have.
  • Idea 2 is tackling the common need of teachers to have everything they need in one place, fast and efficiently. The time saved can be used for interacting with the students.
  • Idea 3 is set to make 3D printing significantly cheaper and more straightforward for schools than it currently is.
  • Idea 4 is a digital notebook for teachers to give better feedback to students. It enables this by providing the teacher with extensive analytics of the students’ behaviors when they are studying, especially when doing exercises.
  • Idea 5 combines traditional presentations with interactive feedback and various kinds of participation mechanisms.
  • Idea 6 aims at keeping up the motivation of learners. It is a service to keep a record of language learning progress by collecting data from different sources and presenting it in a fun way.
  • Idea 7 is a curriculum-aligned mobile game for lower secondary school pupils to get engaged in the subjects they find difficult to follow and master.
  • Idea 8 is a peer-learning platform for upper secondary students. Students can help each other in various ways, using chat, video, graphics, and other media. By helping others a student earns merits.
  • Idea 9 is a system for answering questions with physical movements. We know that both children and adults sit down too much these days so this is a very relevant research area.
  • Idea 10 is a role playing game for learning history. The pupils can assume various roles in historic events and see how their behaviors in the game turn out (as opposed to how things really went down in history).
  • Finally, idea 11 is an anatomy and physiology game for nursing students to self-learn important skills. The game is organized as a set of mysteries for the students to solve.

This is how the ideas look like at the moment. However, our program is all about pivoting so who knows what they’ve transformed into come next week. Mind also, that these are only the Finnish ideas. There are plenty more from Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Poland.

Check my previous post from the Learning Lab kickoff.

* I left the actual idea names out so that you won’t go and reserve according web domains before these guys get to. 🙂